Grammar and Punctuation Policy
Moorhouse Primary School
Grammar and Punctuation Policy 2019
There are four main purposes to this policy:
- To establish an entitlement for all pupils;
- To establish expectations for teachers of this subject;
- To promote continuity and coherence across the school;
- To state the school’s approaches to this subject in order to promote parents’ and carers’ understanding of the curriculum.
The importance of grammar and punctuation to the curriculum
Grammar is concerned with the way in which sentences are used in spoken language, in reading and in writing. Sentences are the construction which help give words their sense. The purpose of grammar teaching is to enable pupils to become conscious of patterns of language which they can apply in their own work to enhance meaning. The purpose of punctuation is to clarify the meaning of texts. Readers use punctuation to help make sense of written texts while writers use punctuation to help communicate intended meaning to the reader.
Strategy for implementation
Entitlement and curriculum provision
The National Curriculum gives a developmental programme for the introduction and acquisition of knowledge about grammar and punctuation. Our English lessons are used for the practical development of this
knowledge through explicit teaching methods.
Teaching and Learning
To teach pupils about grammar and punctuation, the emphasis is on the close consideration of examples of language in use, including pupils’ own writing and the exploration of language as a system. The aim is to develop pupils’
curiosity about language and their capacity to observe and reflect, which will in turn enable them to develop more control and choice in their use of language.
The role of the teacher:
- To provide direct teaching and accurate modelling;
- To provide resources and an environment which promotes a developing understanding of grammar and punctuation;
- To observe pupils, monitor progress and determine targets for development;
- To have punctuation pyramids visible in classrooms as a visual prompt.
Grammar is not about learning terminology. The use of terms to discuss language is helpful but is not an end in itself. Many pupils become adept at repeating terms they have heard, but remain unable to transfer grammatical knowledge into independent reading and writing.
Within the teaching sequences based on the Primary Framework, the objectives relating to grammar are located within sentence level work. Shared reading and writing provides a helpful context for the discussion and demonstration of grammatical features at word level (morphology), sentence level (syntax) and text level (conventions of style and organisation).
Guided writing gives opportunities for the pupils to focus on specific aspects of grammar and punctuation, while the group/independent sessions provide helpful contexts for investigations and application of grammatical knowledge in pupils’ own writing.
The National Curriculum offers many opportunities to revisit and consolidate particular aspects of work at sentence level. Teachers will distinguish between the teaching objectives listed for a particular term and the learning objectives for individual pupils or groups of pupils.
Continuity and Progression
Pupils recognise sentences in their shared reading of texts and in their own play and experimental writing. They write simple sentences based on speech and begin to use significant punctuation, for example, capital letters for their own name and at the beginning of a sentence.
Key Stage 1
At Key Stage 1 the emphasis is on developing pupils’ general awareness of language, both written and spoken. Pupils are encouraged to attempt more complex spoken language and to observe the use of punctuation in written texts as a pointer for pausing, intonation and as an aid to meaning. They recognise sentences, expect them to make sense and use basic sentence structures in their own writing. Some punctuation marks are used in context. More complex sentences are developed through the use of an increasing range of conjunctions.
Key Stage 2
In Year 3 and 4, pupils are introduced to the grammatical functions of different types of words and they begin to explore how sentences are constructed. The emphasis here is not about grammatical labelling (the naming of parts of
speech) but on discovering their function, i.e. what words can be made to do. Explicit teaching of a wider range of punctuation marks occurs and this is reflected by their use in pupils’ writing. However, care should be taken that punctuation is taught within the context of what is being read and what the pupils need to use in their own writing.
In Year 5 and 6 this basic knowledge is extended through the close reading and discussion of carefully chosen examples from a range of text-types. In their writing, pupils are encouraged to draw on this understanding to develop a sense of style, to experiment with the construction of complex sentences and to restructure sentences for clarity and effect. This will necessitate the use of a wider range of punctuation marks, including punctuation within a sentence.
The learning environment
Classrooms use wall displays and examples of pupils’ investigations to stimulate and provide information. Pupils are to have access to a range of appropriate dictionaries and thesauruses.
Assessment and recording
Assessment of grammar and punctuation is mainly undertaken using our marking policy. Work in English sessions will focus on key learning objectives about grammar and punctuation and on pupils' errors as they arise. SPAG tests will be used throughout KS2 and scores recorded.
Updated by Nicola Smith.
Policy to be reviewed February 2021.